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A breezy, cool night in the high desert. Heat lightning crackles on the horizon. Gusts of wind bring the faintest scent of far-off rains. The full moon illuminates a strange crater in the parched earth. Was that there yesterday? All at once, a rumble. The earth quivers and vibrates. Grains of sand begin to dance about near the lip of the hole; then, pebbles. A frenzied writhing that sets the land in tumult! A great roar, the sound of it almost a solid thing, impossibly basso. Again, and again. There is a faint reply on the desert wind: an echo? or another of the unfathomably great burrowers beneath? It's hard for you to tell, but eventually the titanic bulk subsides and the desert is quiet once more, save for a faint shifting of sand and a ripple on the dunes heading for the horizon. This was an old project I never posted; painted back when washes were almost all the paints I had. A great sculpt, dynamic and expressive. The purples are alternating layers of midnight blue and a sort of pinkish red. I should go back and add some razzamatazz to that belly, now I'm seeing the big photographs. While a lot of people think purple worms are D&D cribbing Frank Herbert's sandworms as it did Margaret St. Clair and John Wyndham's fungal underdarks and dark elves--and they ARE pretty rad--I'm convinced that the genesis of both was far earlier, in a 1929 David Henry Keller short from "Amazing Stories." It's called, appropriately enough, "The Worm," and is worth the few minutes of your time to track down and read. Come to think of it, this story might have also partly inspired Ray Bradbury's "The Fog Horn," though the tone of that story is much more wistful and melancholy and less increasing dread. And without THAT, and another tonal shift, monster movies and kaiju movies might have been very different indeed.
So I was looking at the Great White Worm (aaaand! it just struck me - Thar she blows! -now I have to do a Moby Dick diorama with one of these as well!) and the similarity to the Shai Huluds are quite striking. Se here goes a quick conversion: I expect to do a sand-dune base or something. Probably should have been a lot smaller man on top, but its what I had at the moment. the fremen is a GW epic 40.000 space marine scout-model. I cut off the base and trimmed the gun, also bent the arm a bit. the wire is actually a bit of stretched sprue.